Todd Pletcher

Spice is Nice Returns a Winner at Keeneland

6th-Keeneland, $82,488, Alw (NW2$X)/Opt. Clm ($62,500), 4-9, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:43.01, ft, 2 1/4 lengths. SPICE IS NICE (f, 4, Curlin--Dame Dorothy {GISW, $749,740}, by Bernardini) made her return to the races a winning one with an optional claimer score at Keeneland Friday. Hammered down to 1-2 favoritism for this return after eight months on the bench, the $1.05-million KEESEP buy raced two-wide in a joint third through opening splits of :24.15 and :48.63. Scrubbed on by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the chestnut swept up to confront the...

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Todd Pletcher Talks Derby Contenders On Writers' Room

At one point this spring, it was conceivable that soon-to-be Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher would be faced with the unusual situation of not having a GI Kentucky Derby starter. Things change quickly in racing though, as now the seven-time Eclipse Award winner is likely to have four horses in the gate in Louisville and Wednesday morning, he joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland to talk about his sudden Derby quartet. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Pletcher also talked about...

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Todd Pletcher Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Trainer Todd Pletcher joins this week's TDN Writers' Room after pulling the upset in this past weekend's GII Wood Memorial with Bourbonic.

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Bernardini Longshot Caps Pletcher Exacta in Wood Memorial

Calumet Farm homebred Bourbonic (Bernardini) was well deserving of his 70-1 odds on paper, but came flying late to nail stablemate Dynamic One (Union Rags) on the line in Aqueduct's GII Wood Memorial S. Away well from post three, Bourbonic was unhurried early, trailing the field as fellow 70-1 shot and familiar foe Market Maven (Super Ninety Nine) dictated terms, setting early fractions of :24.88 and :50.18 with Weyburn (Pioneer of the Nile) breathing down his neck and Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}) close behind. Weyburn drew even with...

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Curlin's 'Rising Star' Malathaat Up In the Nick of Time in the Ashland

With principal Sheikh Hamdan having passed away just 10 days earlier, unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) provided the Shadwell team with a major pick-me-up as she ran down Pass the Champagne (Flatter) in Keeneland's GI Central Bank Ashland S. Saturday under red-hot Joel Rosario. "I can't put it into words," said an emotional Rick Nichols--Vice President and General Manager of Shadwell--after the race. "I am sure [Sheikh Hamdan] is up there with a big smile on his face looking down on us. We really needed this." Already with 10...

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'Rising Star' Makes the Grade in Appalachian

Just a nose short of getting her first graded win in the Mar. 6 GIII Florida Oaks, Jouster offered no anxious moments this time, rolling home a comfortable winner in Saturday's GII Appalachian S. at Keeneland. Signaling her readiness with a sharp four-furlong move in :48.46 at Palm Beach Downs Mar. 27, the 8-5 favorite went straight to the front as her partner, Luis Saez, lulled the field to sleep through initial splits of :24.82 and :49.87. With plenty in reserve kicking for home, the Starlight Racing runner built a...

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Malathaat Looks to Remain Perfect in Ashland

Blue-blooded 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) looks to follow in her dam and grand-dam's hoofprints by adding a Grade I to her perfect resume Saturday in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland. A debut winner going seven panels at Belmont Oct. 9, the $1.05-million KEESEP purchase romped by 7 3/4 lengths in the one-mile Tempted S. at Aqueduct Nov. 6. She proved distance was no issue when coming alive late with a determined rally to capture a sloppy renewal of the nine-panel GII Demoiselle S. at the Big...

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'Clock' Turned Back in Bay Shore

Despite a solid runner-up finish last out in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S., Drain the Clock (Maclean's Music)'s future appears to be around one turn, and he figures to be an overwhelming favorite in Saturday's seven-furlong GIII Bay Shore S. at Aqueduct. Romping to a six-length debut graduation as an 8-5 favorite in a Gulfstream off-the-turfer Sept. 12, the Saffie Joseph trainee repeated in a Gulfstream West allowance/optional claimer Oct. 28 before losing his rider when making his stakes bow in the Jean Lafitte S. Nov. 30 at...

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Overtook Targets Peter Pan

Trainer Todd Pletcher indicated Overtook (Curlin) will make his next start in the May 8 GIII Peter Pan S. at Belmont Park. Since finishing second behind Risk Taking in the GIII Withers S. Feb. 6 at Aqueduct, the son of Grade I winner Got Lucky (A.P. Indy) has registered two easy half-mile works at Pletcher's Palm Beach Downs base, including the latest a a four-furlong move in :50.75 Mar. 6. The Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith runner is expected to return...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 30

We're on the cusp of the one-month mark to the GI Kentucky Derby, and this Saturday marks the most important weekend of nine-furlong preps on the Triple Crown calendar, with significant stakes at Santa Anita, Keeneland, and Aqueduct. Next week, the Top 12 expands to the Top 20 as the race for qualifying points intensifies and the actual field begins to take shape. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt Farms (KY). T-Claude R. McGaughey III. Lifetime Record: MGSW & GISP, 7-3-1-3, $422,440. Last Start: 3rd...

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Pletcher Takes Home Another Gulfstream Title

After putting an exclamation point on his meet with a win in Saturday's GI Curlin Florida Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher was honored with his 17th Gulfstream Park Championship Meet training title Sunday. The 2021 Hall of Fame nominee and his team sent out 58 winners--eight more than Saffie Joseph, Jr.--for earnings of $3,536,482. Irad Ortiz, Jr. took his third-straight meet title with a record 140 wins, 42 more than Paco Lopez in second. The partnership of Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudecher edged out Arindel Farm 13-12 for leading owner....

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Curlin Colt Provides Pletcher with Sixth Florida Derby

St Elias Stable homebred Known Agenda (Curlin) upped trainer Todd Pletcher's record of GI Curlin Florida Derby wins to six while taking the race sponsored by his leading sire in impressive fashion Saturday. "It has so many great meanings, but for me what is so special about this is to win it for St Elias with a horse that they bred," Pletcher said. "I know how much that means to them, that makes it a little more extra special for us." The 5-1 shot saved all the ground early in...

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